What to expect for this year's mosquito season

Could be a bad one in C.O.; here are some tips

Mosquito expectations for Central Oregon

BEND, Ore. - Oregon officials say this could be a bad summer for mosquitoes, but according to experts in Deschutes County, nothing is certain yet.

Chad Stubblefield is the manager of the Four Rivers Vector Control District. He said this spring was the worst he's seen in a long time.

"In the beginning of May, the folks along the Little Deschutes River, in those communities saw way more mosquitoes than normal," Stubblefield said Monday.

"It was eight years ago the last time we saw the water get that high and the mosquitoes that bad," he added. 

All that snow Oregon had over winter, followed by a very wet spring, means lots of water.  The more water, the more mosquitoes. 

Stubblefield explained, "I suspect as temperatures get higher, more water will be released and get into more marshes, and we'll start seeing more mosquitoes." 

Which means you need to know how to prevent those bites and prepare.

First, dress appropriately; wear long-sleeved, light, and loose fitting clothing.

Second, defend yourself with insect repellent when you're outside. 

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to mosquito defense is to drain any standing water.

Heather Kaisner of Deschutes County Public Health focused on this point: "Make sure that all the standing water is gone from the outside areas, because that's where mosquitoes breed."  

"If you do have pet dishes or birdbaths out there, make sure you change the water out once a week because that's where mosquitoes breed," Kaisner added. 

Mosquitoes are known to transmit viruses. In Central Oregon, the species is able to carry the West Nile virus, but typically the number of cases reported in Oregon is very low.

There may be heightened concern this year after last year's Zika virus outbreak. Some areas in Oregon will be testing mosquitoes for Zika, but Central Oregon is not among them.

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